AUSTIN, Texas - While COVID-19 vaccinations are open to those 12 and older, the state is saying students do not have to be vaccinated for the next school year. However, many parents are still choosing to vaccinate their kids.
Family Hospital Systems told FOX 7 Austin they are getting a lot of interest from parents wanting to vaccinate their teen. On Thursday they had more than 2000 on their waitlist.
FOX 7 Austin spoke with 13-year-old Jack Stratton, one of many teens now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. "Hopefully we can stop the spread and we can get back to normal as soon as possible but not rush it you know," said Stratton.
Jack’s parents drove him down to Family Hospital Systems ER in Cedar Park to get vaccinated. Stratton said the main reason he wants to receive the vaccine isn’t to protect himself but his sister who is in the high-risk category.
"She’s had a very rare case and I’m very happy to have her as a sister. I don’t think I’d be where I am now if she wasn’t here and I just wanna make sure she’s OK," said Stratton.
Stratton is also ready to go back to school and see his friends. "I definitely want to get back to normal because theater virtual or anything virtual isn’t as easy as it looks. theater is just better in person," said Stratton.
While Stratton’s parents chose to get him vaccinated, the state is not making it a requirement for students this fall. DSHS wants parents to focus on getting the vaccines already on the mandatory list done first.
"We know because of the pandemic a lot of students have not been in school and because of that, they may be behind on the routine vaccinations. So throughout the summer before back to school time is always a big vaccine rush for normal vaccination efforts," said DSHS associate commissioner Imelda Garcia.
Stratton said the vaccine has been a hot topic right now among his friend group. "I’m pretty sure they’re being vaccinated soon as well."